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Chile joins International Criminal Court

More than a decade after adhering to the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in 1998, Congress finally ratified the treaty this week. President Michelle Bachelet signed its passage into Chile's legal framework yesterday.

Chile was the only South American nation that had yet to ratify the treaty.

Only the right-wing UDI party voted against it. Rightist legislators had blocked ratification for more than 10 years, claiming that the court infringes national sovereignty. During the years the treaty made its way through Chile’s Congress, the right-wing opposition even suggested conditioning the terms of the treaty to suit Chilean interests.

Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez and the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Alvarez, called this a “historic day.”

With Chile’s ratification, the International Criminal Court now has 109 members.